To address with respect the needs of our residents, focusing on security, purposefulness, and wellness of mind, body, and spirit.
Our comfortable apartments are located in attractive, country-like settings, and the friendly, social atmosphere fosters a sense of community. Residents enjoy a variety of activities in spacious and well-maintained common areas.
Colony Retirement Homes are ideal for older adults who wish to maintain their independence and free themselves from the responsibility of home maintenance, yard work, and snow removal.
In 1962, the Worcester Area Mission Society (part of the United Church of Christ) studied the need for affordable housing for the elderly in the Worcester area. They formed a small group to give life to their ideas, and in 1963, Colony Retirement Homes received a charter as a nonprofit agency from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In the years that followed, the Colony Retirement Homes Board of Directors secured land and developed the five communities we own and manage today. They continue to stand as a testament to the hard work and dedication of our original Board and their vision.
Elected 5/23, Fund Development, DEI
Elected 2/84 Finance, Personnel
Edited 12/18 Personnel, Nominating
Elected 6/22 Finance, Executive, Personnel
Elected 3/21 DEI, Personnel
Elected 8/21 Building and Grounds, DEI,
Nominating, Strategic Planning
Elected 5/23 Buildings and Grounds,
Elected 1/16 Executive, Strategic Planning,
Elected 7/23 Fund Development
Elected 3/21 Executive, Finance, Fund Development
Director for Fund Development
Michael has a bachelor’s in economics and an MBA and has many years’ experience working in business, including in finance, operations, human resources, coaching and strategic planning. In addition to his work on the board for Colony Retirement Homes, Michael serves on three other boards of local nonprofits and is a member of several other local philanthropic organizations. He began working with the Colony board in 2016 and became President in 2018.
Jane earned a Bachelor of Education degree from Kenyatta University. She started her career as a high school teacher and after 12 years she left the classroom and enrolled in Post Graduate studies at The University of Nairobi- School of Journalism and went on to become a journalist. Jane has extensive experience in Human Resource Development and Social Work; including many years working with people who have mental and developmental challenges. For the last 16 years, Jane has been working as a Housing Specialist and Advocate for a non-profit agency that offers shelter and housing to families affected by homelessness, as well as providing needed financial assistance with the goal of homelessness prevention in the City of Worcester and Central Massachusetts at large.
In more than two decades of nonprofit fund development and communications work, Andie has led teams to raise $90 million. Her experience also includes deep work with boards of directors, strategic planning, and team and culture building. Currently, she serves as a senior advisor to nonprofits on fund development, communications, and overall organizational strategy with a social and racial justice lens. She also provides counsel on philanthropic strategy for funders who are beginning to incorporate equity and justice into their approach. Her career mission is to learn and practice how to be a force for social and racial justice, by building relationships that help to spark, grow, and sustain transformative financial support for systemic change that is rooted in the leadership of those closest to the issues. Andie has been volunteering with Colony since 2021 and joined the board in 2023. She received her B.A. with honors from Harvard College.
Dianne graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Business Administration specializing in Personnel Administration. During her career, she held positions in the Human Resources Department of some Worcester area hospitals. In her retirement, she has been involved in reading for the blind through the Audio Journal and spent over ten years as the Co-Coordinator of the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Worcester, MA where she learned a great deal about support services for older adults in the community. Most importantly, the issues many older adults face with food insecurity. Dianne joined the board of directors in 2020, she looks forward to using her experience to better the lives of the folks who call Colony their home.
The Reverend Jane Willan is both pastor and author. She writes a murder mystery series set in an Anglican convent in North Wales and is the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Paxton. As a pastor, Jane is particularly interested in the issue of affordable housing. She was excited when asked to join the Colony board and to be a part of an organization that offers older members of the community such an excellent option. Jane graduated from Hiram College where she studied Religion and History, she completed her graduate work at Vanderbilt Divinity School and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2003. She divides her time between composing sermons, dreaming up murder, hiking the rail-trails of Massachusetts with her husband Don, and hanging out with their two rescue dogs, Maggie and Moses. She has been on the Colony board and a member of the Personnel Committee for three years.
Klara has always wanted to give back and help senior people find and use their voices. She is passionate about both older adults and animals. Currently, Klara is working at Cornerstone Bank as a Commercial Lender in Spencer. She resides in Danielson, CT with her spouse, Chris, two dogs, and a horse. They are expecting a foal, and once he is old enough, she is excited to train and ride him. Klara loves traveling, hiking, horseback riding, and anything that she can do outdoors. Klara started with the Colony Board in February of 2019 after being introduced by another Board member.
Andrew graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Economics from Worcester State University. Upon graduating, he was named one of the Commonwealth's 29 Who Shine by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Andrew currently serves as a Product Manager on the Discovery & Strategic Partnerships Team at Humana. Andrew is a foodie and fitness enthusiast; he enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, and international travel. Andrew joined the board of directors in 2021 and is excited about giving back to the older adults in the Worcester community.
Constance (Connie) Nichols, MD, MS is a retired emergency medicine physician. She graduated from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, did her Emergency Medicine Residency at Texas Tech Regional Academic Health Center in El Paso Texas and moved to Worcester with her physician husband when they finished their residencies. She is also a medical informaticist with a Master's Degree in Medical Informatics from Northwestern University. Connie spent 35 years in the UMass system, the majority of that time at the University Campus caring for patients and teaching resident doctors and medical students. She retired from active practice in January 2019. Connie joined the Colony Board in late 2020 and has been involved in the finance committee and lending her expertise in discussions of medical issues (most especially COVID-19). She relishes the opportunity to serve her community. Connie has a variety of interests and hopes that her energy and knowledge will allow her to aid in the success of Colony Retirement Homes.
Peg's call to be associate pastor of Chestnut Congregational Church (UCC) included ministry to the elderly. Colony Retirement Homes had been founded by UCC groups and several of the parishioners lived in the then three Colony communities. Peg became a frequent visitor, joined the board and saw the completion and opening of Colonies IV and Holden. Peg has served faithfully on the board for over 37 years. Peg is proud of CRH's achievements and its stellar reputation! In addition, Peg's interests include baseball, tennis, gardening and reading.
Marianne has been in eldercare since she was 14 years old and had one of her first jobs in the kitchen of a local nursing home. Since then, she went on to study Psychology in college and then earned her master’s and Ph.D. in Gerontology at U Mass Boston in 1997. Marianne focused her studies on housing for the elderly and on ikigai which is the Japanese word for life purpose and meaning. She has worked in affordable housing and related services since 1992 and has worked with several different organizations including the Cambridge Housing Authority, Cascap, Springwell, and Colony Retirement Homes. She is passionate about the need to support older adults in the community and about the need to reaffirm the worth of all our citizens. Marianne writes an article on housing and the elderly every month for the 50 Plus Advocate. In her spare time, Marianne enjoys quilting, gardening, and time with her husband, sons, cats, and chickens.
Julia Xu joined Colony Retirement Homes, Inc as controller in October 2019. in addition to managing the accounting team Julia also oversees benefits, 403(b), IRS filings, HUD budgets, and the annual audit process. Before joining CHR, Julia has had more than twenty years as senior accountant largely in real estate and for a CPA firm, where she managed the month-end, quarter-end, and year-end closing, financial reporting, budgeting, payroll and tax filing. Julia has two Master's degrees: the first in English translation from East China Normal University in Shanghai and a MBA from Simmons University in Boston.
Caren received her master’s degree in the Management of Human Services with a concentration in Aging from the Heller Graduate School at Brandeis University. Caren has held executive management positions in government-funded affordable housing, assisted living, non-profit and private community-based long-term care programs, and her consulting company, SilverLiving Consulting. Caren has been a frequent presenter at state and national conferences, private companies, universities, and the public on various topics arising in housing for older adults. Caren serves on the board of trustees and the strategic planning committee of Mount Pleasant Home, and the advisory and resident relations committees of the Newton Community Development Foundation.